Hurd defends UK diplomats
It was an almost jovial Mr Hurd who told a number of anecdotes to justify the diplomatic machine. This being a Conservative government, his talk was not least aimed at private industry. A constituent in the village of Witney, who a few years ago had never dreamt of being an exporter, was now - thanks to the Foreign Office's commercial work - selling Mickey Mouse clocks to Disneyland.
It emerges that Mr Hurd himself had asked to speak at the Royal Institute for International Affairs for the second time in four months to answer those who thought the diplomatic service could be replaced by a fax machine. For instance, he said, it was in many cases impossible to distinguish between political and commercial work: 'And you don't get the contract unless you've mastered the politics and cultivated the politicians. You don't do that by fax machine.'
He refrained from any detailed prognosis of future demands, he said, because 'I was very anxious not to be described as asking for money'. He did point out that last financial year, pounds 60bn was spent on social security, pounds 30bn on health, pounds 24bn on defence - and pounds 1.36bn on the diplomatic part of Britain's overseas effort run by the Foreign Office.
Rather than 'moving out of our handful of big, handsome embassy buildings abroad into suburban villas', use them to good effect: 'In 1814 the Duke of Wellington bought our embassy in Paris from Napoleon's sister. In 1993 Rover launched its latest model in the forecourt. The Duke would have approved.'
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...